Salmon with Lemon Almond Pesto

After coming from vacation where the family and I feasted, it felt wonderful to be able to cook a meal at home. Health, health, health was what I was going for, so salmon came to mind right away. I absolutely love pesto because it’s so fresh and versatile. It pairs so well with the rich flavor of salmon. Pesto means to pound or crush, and typically consists of basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and parmesan cheese. You can make extra and use in other dishes like sandwiches and pasta too!

 -Mel

Health tips: Low fat, low carb, heart healthy, diabetes friendly, anti inflammatory

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • Four 5 oz. salmon fillets (1/2″-1″ thick)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Pesto (Makes about 3/4 cup)

  • 2 packed cups of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup almonds, toasted 
  • Grated zest from 1 large lemon; and 2 tablespoons juice
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, depending on your salt intake
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • Tip: Pesto is very versatile, you can also experiment with other ingredients as long as you keep the base structure. (i.e., replace basil with kale or another green veggie, or pine nuts with walnuts or almonds!)

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Steps

  1. In blender or food processor, pulse basil, almonds, lemon zest and juice, garlic, salt and pepper until finely chopped.
  2. While machine is still running, gradually add in the olive oil and blend until mixture is smooth and thick. (If using a mini bullet, just turn off a few times and gradually add oil in and blend in.)
  3. Add the cheese and pulse until just incorporated. For a thinner consistency, just add more olive oil.
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  5. Keep pesto covered and set aside in the fridge.
  6. Turn broiler on high.
  7. Brush olive oil, and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the salmon. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. (As a light side, I also broiled seasoned asparagus with the salmon. Serve with your choice of sides.)
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  9. Broil for about 8-12 until the middle just becomes flakey and the top is golden brown. Watch very closely! (1/2″: 8 minutes; 3/4″-1″: 10-12 minutes)
  10. Take the salmon out and top with fresh pesto. Squeeze more lemon juice over the top if desired. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
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